NSSN 585: Book your transport ticket for June 18 TUC demo

May 22, 2022 in Bulletins

TUC National Demonstration Saturday 18th June Central London 

11am assemble and 12pm depart from Portland Place W1A 1AA, rally 1pm at Parliament Square

The TUC has called a national demonstration this summer. The NSSN welcomes this so that the biggest possible national demonstration can be built as a platform for the mass co-ordinated industrial action that is needed as workers fight the squeeze on their living standards. This will be even more important as there are reports of further planned Tory attacks on trade unions’ right to strike – RMT response

There is transport being organised in every area – details here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/travel-coach

More info – https://www.tuc.org.uk/DemandBetter

Also, in the run up to the demo, the TUC and unions are organising public Town Hall meetings around the country. Details of these can be found here

 

2022 NSSN Conference – Saturday 2nd July 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Facebook event

Confirmed speakers include: Sharon Graham Unite General Secretary, Steve Gillan POA General Secretary and Unite Coventry bin striker

Attendance fee £6. Register on the day or email [email protected]

You can download the conference leaflet plus a letter for union branches, trades councils

Two weeks after the TUC demo will be the 15th national NSSN conference and the first in-person one for three years. As usual will be a vital forum for union reps and members along with anti-cuts campaigners to come together to talk about their struggles and discuss out the strategy, tactics and programme needed for the fight of our lives.

The NSSN will be again holding our rally at TUC Congress in Brighton on Sunday 11th September 1pm-3pm

 

Support sacked P&O workers

NSSN supporters have taken part in demonstrations to support the 800 sacked P&O workers and their unions the RMT and Nautilus International and other seafarer unions. We will advertise solidarity protests in this bulletin and we will update it during the week, and on social media when they are announced. We support the calls for P&O to be nationalised to save jobs and defend communities.

 

Stop union victimisation: support the Coventry bin strike

The Labour council has disgracefully targeted Pete Randle, one of the senior Unite shop stewards. We call on all our supporters to support Pete and his striking members

Coventry council’s shocking double standards emerge amid Coventry bin strike (4 May)

Sign petition to Councillor George Duggins – Coventry Council: Reinstate Pete Randle, stop union busting, stop strike breaking and pay the rate

Follow @UniteWestMids on twitter. Coventry bin worker’s strike fund – Unity Trust Bank; Name of Account: Unite WM/7116 Branch Coventry Local Government; Account number: 20302665 Sort code: 60-83-01; send messages of solidarity to [email protected]

 

Stop the war in Ukraine

The NSSN calls for the unity of working-class people across Ukraine, Russia and the whole region against war, militarisation and repression. We support the actions of independent trade unions in Ukraine and Russia in defending workers.

FBU Executive Council Statement – Invasion and War in Ukraine

RMT statement on Ukraine

Unite executive council – statement on Ukraine crisis

NIPSA statement: Russian Invasion of Ukraine

 

NSSN news

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Feel free to use this affiliation letter.

And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on [email protected]

 

 

Union News

RMT

RMT will launch strike ballot on ScotRail over pay (20 May) – Railway workers in Scotland will be balloted for strike action, following ScotRail’s derisory pay offer of 2.2%. RPI inflation is running at 11.1%, and transport workers have already been subject to repeated pay freezes and real terms cuts in living standards. The union will set out a timetable for the ballot and any potential action in due course. RMT has already expressed anger at the proposed temporary timetable changes being brought in by ScotRail bosses, labelling them “a kick in the teeth” to members read more

Join our demo: fight the job cuts on London Underground at 8am on Tuesday, 24th of May ’22 – On the day that the Elizabeth Line opens to the public, join our demo on the corner of New Oxford St and Charing Cross Road. On Tuesday, the Elizabeth line finally opens and the world will be told how great transport in London is. But thousands of jobs (600 on tube stations alone) are under threat from Tory cuts to transport funding in London. A pensions grab is underway and working agreements are being torn up. Fewer staff, knackered staff, poorer service; this is ‘managed decline’ the Mayor speaks of. None of this is inevitable. We have the power to change their plans read more

Tube strike action set for Queen’s Jubilee (18 May) – Tube staff will take strike action at Euston and Green Park stations on June 3, if action is not taken against a bullying manager. RMT members at both stations have suffered years of intimidation, bullying and unjustified sackings of colleagues by a manager who has created a toxic atmosphere in the workplace. Strike action is set for June 3 which coincides with the Queen’s Jubilee and will last 24 hours read more

RMT to ballot for strike action at Orsted (13 May) – RMT to ballot for strike action at wind farm company Orsted over victimisation. Offshore union RMT is to commence balloting all members at Orsted Walney Operations for industrial action over the victimisation of a member simply for raising questions over serious health and safety infringements. The union is appalled at the actions of Orsted and its treatment of a member for raising legitimate Health and Safety concerns. The persecution he has faced has included withholding pay for nine months, ageist personal ridicule and refusal to incorporate reasonable adjustments after his treatment which has led to a serious detriment in his mental health read more

Support RMT strike on TransPennine Express – TPE conductors on major railway lines are striking over pay and Sunday. The company has point blank refused TPE conductors’ request to increase pay for staff coming in on their days off and Sundays. Members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 13th March 2022
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 20th March 2022
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 27th March 2022
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 3rdApril 2022
  • hours on Saturday 16th April 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 17th April 2022
  • hours on Saturday 30th April 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 1st May 2022
  • hours on Saturday 4th June 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 5th June 2022  read more

Support the London Night Tube strike: every Friday and Saturday nights on Central and Victoria lines read more

 

TSSA

TSSA demands government action to prevent national rail dispute (17 May) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, is urging action from the Department for Transport to avoid a far reaching industrial dispute across our railways this summer. Cortes was speaking after a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the impact of rising inflation on wages and living standards. According to the ONS pay, excluding bonuses, rose by 4.2 per cent between January and March but failed to keep up with the rising cost of living – which hit 7 per cent in March and is expected to go higher read more

TSSA comment on Barcelona train crash (17 May) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has described as “terrible news” the crash between a freight train and passenger train in Catalonia. According to the Reuters news agency the driver of the passenger train was killed and more than eighty were injured in the incident outside Barcelona on Monday evening. Commenting, Cortes said: “This is terrible news. The thoughts of our whole union are with the loved ones of the driver who died and with the injured read more

 

Unite

Langford Lodge strikes to go ahead as Unite pursues pay rise and action on equal pay scandal (21 May) – Unite has notified management at Crumlin-based Langford Lodge that their workers will commence a first week of strike action in pursuit of a pay increase from 00.01am on Thursday 26 May. The union also wants the scandal of unequal pay addressed at the company.  A significant grouping of women machinists for example are being paid £1.93 per hour less than male colleagues while they do work of similar or equal value. The strike is an escalation of an overtime ban previously in force at the RLC Engineering-owned, precision engineering aerospace manufacturer. Last minute talks failed to result in agreement on the pay and equality improvements sought by Unite, leaving the union’s members with no alternative but to follow through on plans for a first week of strike action read more

Oxford MINI warehouse strikes end after Unite secures 21% pay deal worth £4,000 to workers (20 May) – Warehouse strikes at the Oxford MINI plant have ended after workers employed by logistics firm Rudolph & Hellman secured a pay deal worth 21 per cent over two years. Around 225 workers, made up of warehouse staff and shunter drivers handling components for the factory, will receive a 19 per cent pay rise over two years. In addition, the workers will receive a lump sum worth 2 per cent, bringing the total increase to 21 per cent – worth around £4,000 per year for a dayshift worker. The deal also includes increases to overtime rates and more working time protections read more

County Durham car bearing factory strikes off after Unite wins pay deal (20 May) – Pay strikes at car bearing manufacturers NSK Bearings and AKS Precision Ball in Peterlee, County Durham, have ended after a pay deal was reached. Around 200 workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted in favour of a deal that includes an increase in pay backdated to September 2021, as well as a further increase from 1 June. The workers’ next pay review has also been brought forward from 1 September 2023 to 1 July 2023 read more

Unite secures Glasgow airport OCS workers 10.2% pay lift (20 May) – Unite has secured OCS Group workers based at Glasgow Airport a one-year pay deal, the UK’s leading aviation trade union confirmed today (20 May). Up to 100 workers are set to benefit from a 10.2 per cent wage rise backdated to the beginning of May after Unite members accepted the latest offer from the company. The wage deal also means that the OCS Group is the latest employer at Glasgow Airport to pay as a minimum the real living wage of £9.90 per hour. OCS Group workers aid passengers with reduced mobility issues including assisting with wheels chairs and ambilift vehicles for travellers at airports. The OCS Group deal follows a string of successes for Unite in the aviation industry in Scotland. In April, around 120 Loganair cabin crew benefited from a £700 one-off payment along with a minimum pay increase of £1,000 from September in a total package that will see cabin crew receive an 11.2 per cent increase on basic pay over 2023. And this week, Unite also delivered a 9.1 per cent pay deal for up to 200 workers including dispatchers, allocators, airside agents and controllers at Menzies Aviation based at Glasgow Airport read more

Unite secures ‘best deal’ for Glasgow airport ground staff across Menzies Aviation (18 May)

Hackney council strikes escalate as parking services workers join pay dispute (20 May) – Strikes at Hackney council will escalate in the coming weeks, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned, with 70 parking services workers now joining more than 200 of their colleagues in a dispute over pay. Staff working in refuse, building services and disability transport services took six days of strike action in late April and early May over an ‘insulting’ 1.75 per cent pay offer. With the real rate of inflation (RPI) now running at 11.1 per cent, strike action is set to step up in the coming weeks. In addition, Hackney parking services staff are to be balloted for industrial action over pay and conditions after their department was insourced back to the council on 1 April this year – potentially bringing the total number of striking workers to 270. Parking services staff have been told that negotiations over their pay, terms and conditions will not even be considered until next year. The workers are on inferior wages and contracts compared to other Hackney council workers read more

Co-op stores face empty shelves this summer as GXO drivers strike over pay (20 May) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed as drivers and transport clerks by logistics giant GXO on the outsourced Co-op delivery contract, have announced extensive strike action beginning later this month in a dispute over pay. Over 330 workers based at the company’s depot in Elton Head Road, St Helens are involved in the dispute. The workers recorded a 97 per cent vote in favour of strike action. The drivers deliver to 466 Co-op stores spreading from the Lake District in the north, Leeds in the east, as far south as Hereford and Aberystwyth in the west. Unite says that the strike action will have an immediate effect on supplies. In total 40 days of strike action have been announced between the end of May and the end of August. This will comprise 20 separate, 48 hour strikes, with the first strike beginning on Wednesday 31 May, which coincides with the jubilee celebrations read more

Minimum Wage:  Unite seeks €2 increase to €12.50 from November 1st (19 May) – Union tells Low Pay Commission aim should be to raise wage floor to 66% of median earnings. Low pay is bad for business says Unite Ireland Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock. Trade union Unite, which represents workers in all sectors, this week gave a presentation to the Low Pay Commission urging that they recommend an increase in the National Minimum Wage by €2 (19%) to €12.50 from November 1st as part of a two-year strategy to raise the wage floor to 66% of median earnings read more

BA travellers face summer holiday chaos as Heathrow workers vote on strike action (18 May) – Strike ballot will begin shortly with dates to be confirmed during the next few days, says Unite and GMB. British Airways travellers face travel chaos as Heathrow workers vote on strike action, unions say. Hundreds of Unite and GMB members working as Heathrow check in staff and ground staff have voted in favour of holding a formal industrial action ballot. The strike ballot will begin shortly with dates to be confirmed during the next few days. Any industrial action will take place during the summer holiday period. The Heathrow workers are furious because a 10 per cent pay cut imposed on them during the pandemic has not been reinstated – despite bosses having their pre-Covid pay rates reinstated. While other BA workers have been given a 10 per cent bonus, the check in staff have had nothing read more

Lloyds Banking Group decision to close further 28 bank branch labelled as “inexcusable” (18 May) – Unite, the union representing members at Lloyds Banking Group, has branded the announcement today (Wednesday 18 May) by the bank to close another 28 bank branches as “inexcusable”. The news comes just two months after the bank announced the closure of 60 branches read more

Striking refuse collectors and street cleaners tell Rugby council ‘sort it out – we can’t pay our bills’ (18 May) – In a show of unity, refuse collectors and street cleaners in Rugby, who have been on strike since the end of April, will stage a rally outside the town hall. The rally coincides with the annual meeting of Rugby borough council where a new mayor will be elected. The workers and activists will be accompanied by a mobile ad van. The giant ad calls on Rugby council to “sort it out”. Members of Unite are taking strike action to demand a significant pay increase as spiralling price rises leave workers struggling to afford the basics. Real terms inflation (the RPI) has crashed into double–digits at 11.1 per cent. This Thursday, the workers will send a clear message to the council that they are united and will continue strike action until the council delivers an acceptable pay offer for all read more

INFLATION: Restrain boardroom greed not workers’ pay, says Unite boss (18 May) – CPI leaps to highest on record at 9 per cent, RPI hits 11.1 per cent. As real terms inflation (the RPI) crashes into double–digits at 11.1 per cent, the leader of the Unite union hit back at demands for wage restraint, saying that calls for reflection should be directed to FTSE 100 CEOs who have seen their pay packages swell by more than one third read more

University of Dundee workers to strike over threat to pensions (17 May) – Unite the union today (17 May) announced a ballot on strike action in a long-running dispute at the University of Dundee following the rejection of revised pension proposals. Over 100 workers will now participate in the ballot which will run from Monday (23 May) until 10 June with industrial action likely to commence with the beginning of the new academic year in September. The dispute stems from the University of Dundee’s proposal in March 2021 to close the Defined Benefits Pension Scheme to Grades 1-6 and replace it with a Defined Contributions Scheme. The changes mean that a worker with twenty years’ service stands to lose around £1,600 each year in retirement. The proposal would also disproportionally affect female workers who make up 70 per cent of the current scheme’s existing members. The University’s latest proposals have been met with an emphatic rejection by Unite’s members in a consultative ballot by 94 per cent. Unite’s members backed strike action in October 2021 but postponed taking further action after the University of Dundee agreed to remove the defined contributions proposal. The University now proposes to keep the scheme open but close it to new entrants. In addition, the revised proposals include increasing the retirement age from 65 to 68 and the scheme’s accrual rate from 1/80ths to 1/100ths read more

Lerwick Port industrial action back on as workers demand the rate for the job (16 May) – Unite the union today (16 May) confirmed that its members working at the Lerwick Port Authority are set to re-start industrial action over pay, terms and conditions following a breakdown in negotiations. Around a dozen key workers will begin a continuous ban on overtime from 00:01 hours on 25 May at the main port in the Shetland Islands. With significant hours of overtime required to ensure the effective running of operations at the port, the overtime ban will have a ‘severe impact’ on the cruise liners and oil and gas vessels, as well as the general shipping, that use the harbour. Unite members are demanding that they are paid the same rate as that paid at other UK ports and are challenging a number of detrimental changes to basic pay, overtime, standby and call-out payments, and pension contributions. The changes will further cut the incomes for workers who already derive 40p in every pound of their pay from overtime payments read more

Strike action at Ulsterbus and Metro in Northern Ireland after inadequate pay offer rejected – Northern Ireland bus drivers at both Ulsterbus and Metro have rejected the latest pay offer from management as inadequate in the face of spiralling living costs. Following the result, Unite today gave notice to Translink of a first, one-week strike action from next Tuesday (17 May). The strike is likely to shut down all bus transport services for the duration. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham expressed her support for the bus drivers’ fight for improved pay read more

Unite warns of four more weeks of strike at `greedy’ Caterpillar in fight to win ‘cost of living’ pay – Unite the union has today (Tuesday 10 May) notified Caterpillar that their members working for the corporation at Larne and Springvale in Belfast will launch a further four weeks of strike action at both plants in the fight for a pay deal that reflects the deepening cost of living crisis. In a dispute that has already seen four weeks of strikes, the union has been battling Caterpillar’s ‘greed’ and the company’s hostility to efforts to find a negotiated solution. According to Unite, Caterpillar’s management has adopted anti-trade union tactics, including offering a payment bonus to office workers from other locations to cross picket lines and continue production. In the first quarter of this year, Caterpillar reported profits of £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion), using the vast majority of these funds to benefit shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. The business’ lead director enjoys a rewards package worth £18 million ($23 million) in compensation read more

C2C rail passengers warned of disruption as Alstom workers begin strike over pay attacks – Passengers using the C2C rails line between London and Southend are set for considerable disruption over the coming weeks as maintenance engineers employed by Alstom take strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions. Strikes are due to begin tomorrow (Monday 9 May) with further action scheduled for 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30 May and 3 June. Disruption to services is likely on both the strike days and on days following the strike action. An overtime ban is also in force. The workers are taking action following a series of attacks on their pay and condition and concerns about high sickness and low morale at Alstom, the French company that bought Bombardier in 2020. The workers recorded a 95 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action read more

Historic strike action begins by staff at Financial Conduct Authority in London and Edinburgh – Members of Unite have embarked on historic strike action at the Financial Conduct Authority today (Wednesday 4 May). This industrial action is the first action since the inception of the regulator. It follows many months of refusals by FCA management to listen to the concerns of their workforce. The FCA has rejected all approaches to engage in discussions with employee representatives read more

Unite to NI Local Authorities: stop misleading the public and use your powers to provide real pay improvement – As Unite members in councils, education and housing across Northern Ireland continue strike action, the union has hit out at the misinformation from the employers. The workers are on strike in pursuit of a pay increase to recover earnings lost through over a decade of attacks on wages and to help combat the harm to earnings caused by surging inflation. The union is challenging the National Joint-Council (NJC) employers to stop the disinformation and own up to the powers that they do have to end the dispute by improving workers’ pay read more

Unite industrial action set to hit Renfrewshire Council elections – Unite has today (29 April) confirmed days of industrial action which is set to hit the Renfrewshire Council elections on 5 May. Around 200 craft workers employed by the local authority will take part in strike action commencing at 08:00 hours on 3 May and up to 6 May when the action will conclude at 13:00 hours. An overtime ban will also be in place during this time. Unite’s members are responsible for setting up and dismantling the polling stations and were also due to deliver the ballot boxes to the count in the forthcoming council elections. Tradespersons and apprentices working within Building Services covered by the local authority craft agreement at Renfrewshire Council have previously voted unanimously to back strike action read more

Carlisle drinks can manufacturer hit by strikes after ‘unacceptable’ pay offer – Workers at the Crown Bevcan soft and alcoholic drinks can factory in Carlisle will strike over an ‘unacceptable’ pay offer from the company. Around 200 workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will stage two 24 hour strikes on 11 May and 14 May after rejecting a three per cent pay offer plus a one-off payment. More strikes will be scheduled if an acceptable offer is not put forward by the company. The production workers are seeking a pay deal that reflects the rising cost of living read more

Unite blasts ‘outrageous’ suspension of Fawley rep on false charges as colleagues vote not to cross picket line – Unite the union has hit out at employers at the Fawley Exxon refinery over the ‘outrageous’ suspension of one of their union reps. The rep, who is employed by Altrad Services, was suspended after 50 of his colleagues – who are not part of the dispute – refused to cross the picket line during a strike on 8 April. The decision not to cross the picket line had been taken earlier in a vote by the workers. Around 100 workers, who make up a third of the contractors at the Southampton oil refinery, have been striking over pay. The union has hit out at Altrad Services’ false accusation that Unite’s rep initiated secondary industrial action and potentially put the refinery and staff at risk. The workers’ vote not to cross the picket line was carried with the proviso that safety critical staff would be on site, which was what occurred. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an outrageous victimisation of an innocent man. Altrad Services is clearly rattled by the strength of the support across the workforce for this action for fair pay and against corporate greed…” read more

Rugby GE Steam strikes could worsen as company uses outside consultants to ‘undermine’ union – The first strikes in 45 years at Rugby’s 120-year-old GE Steam turbine factory could worsen as the company uses outside consultancy firm Shape Associates to ‘undermine’ union organisation. Unite, the UK’s leading union, is preparing to re-ballot more than 75 of its members at the factory to extend strike action over attacks on pay. The initial round of strike action began on 17 April and is due to end on 2 May, with the next strike on 29 April. The union said GE Steam has given over the responsibility of running the factory to Shape Associates so the consultancy firm can force through cutbacks prior to the site’s sale to EDF read more

Unite urges Woolwich Ferry – seize opportunity to resolve dispute as strike ballot suspended to kick-start talks – Woolwich Ferry’s workers have suspended their industrial action and also plans to hold another strike ballot in a goodwill gesture to resolve the long-running dispute, Unite the union said today (Tuesday 5 April). Unite has put forward proposals, which remain confidential, to Transport for London (TfL) bosses to kick-start meaningful talks over the poor employment relations that have been the hallmark of successive operators of the troubled ferry. Six workers, including two Unite reps, still remain unfairly suspended when the last bout of industrial action ended on 28 March read more

Strike action continues as GE Aviation accused of ‘dirty tricks’ in Gloucester pay dispute – Workers at Gloucester’s Hurricane Road GE Aviation factory will be striking every Friday until their call for a fair wage is honoured, Unite the union has said today (Tuesday 29 March). Multinational GE Aviation has been accused of `dirty tricks’ in an attempt to undermine the workers. The 90-plus workers are employed by GE’s subsidiary Dowty Propellers. The workers have rejected a two year pay offer worth just 4.5 per cent which, with the actual level of inflation (retail price index) standing at 8.2 per cent, amounts to a real terms pay cut read more

Veolia workers across Edinburgh and Lothians set to strike over `insulting’ pay offer – Unite can confirm today (24 March) that more than 50 members working for Veolia Water across Edinburgh and the Lothians are set to take strike action in a dispute over pay. The strike action, involving plant operatives, electrical maintenance, mechanical, and administrative staff, was supported overwhelmingly by 94 per cent of Unite’s members in a ballot turnout of 83 per cent. The Veolia workers are demanding a significantly improved pay offer from the company.  With the more realistic cost of living (RPI) currently running at 8.2 per cent per cent, Veolia’s offer of 2.6 per cent for this year is a pay cut. Strike action will take place from 7-13 April, and then continuous strike action from 21 April read more

 

PCS

PCS members win mileage rate U-turn (20 May) – Pressure by PCS members has successfully reversed a cut in the motor mileage allowance paid to Mitie staff. Central government’s biggest facilities management company, with contracts across the civil service, unilaterally announced a cut in motor mileage earlier this year. Leaving members using their cars out of pocket read more

Support for Insolvency Service campaign (19 May) – Current members are getting involved and new members are joining to support our campaign against office closures. Over 100 members in the Insolvency Service (INSS) attended a meeting last week on the proposals to close 10 INSS offices. Members were upset and angered by the announcement and agreed fully with the PCS position of opposing all office closures. These closures will have major consequences for all staff and members are concerned about future service levels and workloads, as well as the possibility of redundancies and forced relocations. PCS reps are dealing with specific issues and questions raised by members and raising matters with management at regular meetings read more

Conference to debate emergency motion on strike action over cuts (18 May) – PCS is to consider national strike action over government plans to cut 91,000 civil service job cuts. Our national executive committee today submitted an emergency motion to next week’s annual delegate conference proposing a campaign to defend members’ jobs, which would including taking industrial action when appropriate read more

PCS calls on government to rethink mass cuts which will worsen UK lives (18 May)

PCS campaigners call on DWP and MP to save their jobs (18 May) – Vinovium House in Bishop Auckland is one of 43 DWP processing sites earmarked for closure as part of DWP plans, but PCS activists are campaigning for their future. They are calling on Tory MP Dehenna Davison to save their jobs. The jobs are at risk after the government decided to close two floors of the purpose-built office in the town’s Newgate Centre. More than 50 PCS members currently working at Vinovium House are being transferred to the new site, knowing they face being made redundant read more

PCS launches hybrid working survey in Ofsted (17 May) – The results of the survey will help us to decide the next steps in the hybrid working dispute. Today (17) PCS is launching a survey for all members in Ofsted. The survey is to gain key information from our members with regard to the changes to hybrid working in Ofsted. The results of the survey will go on to inform our next steps in the ongoing dispute with Ofsted over the hybrid working policy. We will use this survey as a key indicator of whether to reballot members for industrial action at Ofsted, so it is crucial that you fill it in read more

 

GMB

Isle of Wight Festival under threat of bin strike (20 May) – GMB union members working as refuse operatives on the Isle of Wight are being balloted for industrial action over the festival weekend. The ballot, which closes on 27 May, could see action begin on the island as early as 13 June, with the Isle of Wight Festival scheduled to take place over the weekend of 16 to 19 June. The workers are in dispute with their employer Amey over pay, which the union members argue is well below industry rates and will not be rectified by the current tabled deal read more

British Gas workers vote to accept pay deal (20 May) – GMB members working at British Gas have voted overwhelmingly to accept a new pay deal. The deal, worth at least five per cent, comes just a year after 43 days of strike action which saw 460 engineers sacked during the company’s fire and rehire scheme read more

Budweiser workers announce summer strike dates (19 May) – Budweiser workers have announced a series of summer strikes following a pay dispute. A total of 225 GMB members working at BBG’s Samlesbury site, near Preston, will down tools in a series of dates in June in anger over a real terms pay cut. It is the first time workers at the site, which brews Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons and Export Pale Ale, have gone in strike in its 50 year history. After months of discussion with the world’s biggest brewer they tabled a full and final offer of 3 per cent increase for 2022 and 3 per cent for 2023 with increases in overtime rates. With the cost-of-living crises and inflation at 11.1%, the offer amounts to a massive pay cut in real terms read more

Thousands of Cadent workers to stage 48 hour strike (19 May) – Thousands of field force workers at gas giant Cadent will stage a 48 hour strike this month. Around 2,000 GMB members will down tools on Monday 30 May and Tuesday 31 May 2022 in a dispute over pay and conditions. The industrial action could potentially cause outages at homes and businesses throughout five regions in England; North West, East and West Midlands, East Anglia and North London. Workers resoundingly rejected a below inflation pay increase of 2 per cent for 2021 and 4 per cent from July 22. With inflation running at 11.1 per cent, the deal amounts to a massive real terms pay cut. Cadent made an operating profit of £901 million in 2021, while CEO Steve Fraser was paid £1.4 million in 2020/21. The company’s Australian owners MacQuarie are currently heading up a consortium to buy National Grid’s gas transmission and metering business for £4.2 billion read more

BA travellers face holiday chaos as workers vote on strike action (18 May) – British Airways travellers face travel chaos as Heathrow workers vote on strike action, unions say. Hundreds of GMB and Unite members working as Heathrow check in staff and ground staff voted in favour of holding a formal industrial action ballot. The strike ballot will begin shortly with dates to be confirmed during the next few days. Any industrial action will take place during the summer holiday period. The Heathrow workers are furious because a ten per cent pay cut imposed on them during the pandemic has not been reinstated – despite bosses having their pre-covid pay rates reinstated. While other BA workers have been given a 10 per cent bonus, the check in staff have had nothing read more

Construction workers protest over ‘derisory’ pay offer (18 May) – Construction workers are today protesting a ‘derisory’ pay offer made by the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC). Workers gathered at outside a CIJC meeting in Central London in anger at an offer which is just over a third of today’s rampant 11 per cent inflation figure. The CIJC is the largest agreement in the construction sector and governs the pay and conditions of around 500,000 workers (principally those in civil engineering and the biblical trades). A pay claim was submitted by the joint trade unions in February, calling for a 10 per cent increase as well as radical improvements to sick pay and other benefits to bring them in line with other construction agreements. The CIJC has so far failed to make an offer that comes anywhere near GMB members pay aspirations read more

Wilko must give employees full jubilee bank holiday (17 May) – GMB Union, the union for Wilko workers, has today called on the company to give their hard working and loyal staff the Jubilee bank holiday off. The UK will soon be celebrating The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, with a national bank holiday announced for 2 and 3 June. Wilko’s workforce has kept the company running throughout pandemic – putting their lives on the line to keep the company afloat. Staff now want to know why they aren’t being given the same opportunities to celebrate as other workers read more

Translink bus strike suspended (16 May) – The Translink bus strike, due to start tomorrow [Tuesday 17 May 2022] has been suspended after last ditch talks. Drivers, cleaners and shunters across Northern Ireland had been due to walk out for seven days in mass strike that would ‘bring Northern Ireland to a standstill’. But bosses today [16 May] made a revised pay deal – as a result industrial action has been suspended while GMB and Unite members vote on the offer. We will now prepare a ballot of our members read more

Strike action looms at South London hospital (16 May) – GMB members who work for Mitie as cleaners, hostesses and porters in St Georges Hospital in Tooting have voted to go on strike for 24 hours from 7am on Tuesday 30 May. Further strikes have been scheduled for Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 June. The dispute relates to pay and has been inflamed by members this week being underpaid, some by up to £800. In addition, members of the union employed by Sodexo at the trust’s Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton have also voted to take strike action, though this has been suspended for four weeks to allow negotiations to take place between the employer and GMB read more

Wiltshire traffic warden strike continues to second day – GMB union has confirmed a second day of strike action by traffic wardens across Wiltshire on Tuesday 17 May. This follows a successful strike on Saturday 7 May, when parking enforcement was completely suspended across the county by the industrial action. The dispute is due to a proposed pay cut of up to 20 per cent through the withdrawal of a contractual unsocial hours payment. This affects 350 staff, with social workers losing 20 per cent – around £7000 – and traffic wardens losing 10 per cent, which equates to over £2000. Wiltshire Council has refused the offer by ACAS, the Government arbitration service, to facilitate talks to resolve the dispute read more

Sandwell leisure strike to go ahead after talks break down – A strike across Sandwell Leisure trust will go ahead tomorrow [10 May 2022] after last ditch talks break down. Eleventh hour negotiations between Sandwell Leisure Trust and GMB failed to produce a resolution and left members with no choice but to strike. More than 84% of eligible GMB members voted in favour of industrial action across seven sites. Bosses at the leisure centre refused to discuss a pay claim put forward by GMB, Unison and Unite members at the end of 2021 read more

JCB delivery drivers vote for strike action – JCB delivery drivers have voted to take strike action in anger at a real terms pay cut. Dozens of GMB members, employed by delivery giant DHL, voted 96 per cent per cent in favour of industrial action during a formal strike ballot. The workers, who deliver JCB parts between factories across the UK, will walk out on 23 and 24 May, with more dates to be confirmed. The dispute stems from bosses trying to impose at 5 per cent pay award, with inflation running at 9 per cent read more

Fox’s Glacier Mint workers strike over fire and rehire threat – Fox’s Glacier Mint workers will take a full day of strike action tomorrow [April 14] in anger at the company’s fire and rehire threat. Staff at Valeo York, who also make Poppets and humbugs, mint assortments butter mints, rhubarb and custards and lemon sherberts for well-known supermarkets including M&S, will be joined by the Yorkshire Polar Bear and local councillors read more

Barrow bin strike: Six more days of industrial action Refuse collectors in Barrow have announced six more days of industrial action in their fight for a living wage. GMB members working FCC Environment will walk out on from 30 March to 1 April and then 6 to 8 April read more

 

Unison

Sandwell leisure workers celebrate pay victory after latest strike (16 May) – Employer announces it will return the workers to national pay, terms and conditions after last week’s industrial action. Leisure workers in Sandwell are celebrating a victory this week, after their employer, the Sandwell Leisure Trust, announced that it will return the workers to national pay, terms and conditions. The board of the trust announced the decision on Friday. It reverses the fire and rehire of staff that took place back in March 2021 read more

One week, all-out strike under way at University of Dundee – The strike started as employers are urged to “show some commitment to their loyal, low paid staff”. Members at the University of Dundee took to the picket line on Monday 18th April, and started one week of all-out strike action over the employer’s plans to impose changes to the university pension scheme. This is the third round of action taken at the university over the same issue and the initial five-day strike will be followed by selective action in high-impact areas over the coming three weeks. The previous rounds of strike action provoked a u-turn by the employer of the decision to close the defined benefit scheme, but the dispute now centres on the terms with which the scheme remains open – with proposals to increase the retirement age, diminish the accrual rate and close the scheme to new joiners. When consulted, members strongly rejected this package which was imposed rather than negotiated read more

 

NIPSA

Latest NIPSA News magazine here

Pensions Legal Action Launched (20 May) – from Carmel Gates NIPSA General Secretary: I am reissuing the report to bring to your attention the need to circulate it to all your members. We have been advised by our legal team that it is essential that we ensure, as far as possible, that all our members have been made aware of the issue. I would suggest that when circulating this article to your members that you encourage them to use this as an opportunity to recruit those who are not in a trade union to join NIPSA, visit the Join Us page to become a member. Only those who are NIPSA members will be included in the legal case and that will include all members who join us. Please make every effort to bring this to the attention of all members and non-members read more

Fighting the Pay Squeeze (18 May) – With inflation running at a 30-year high and likely to hit 10% by the end of the 2022, NIPSA has reacted robustly in defence of hard-pressed NJC workers’ pay. The union is seeking a 2022‐23 pay claim of:

  • Rate of Inflation Plus
  • 10% Cost of Living Increase Plus
  • Uplift in Mileage Rate

Our claim will be fed into discussions with the other NJC trade unions and a joint claim will then be presented to the employers. The NIPSA Deputy General Secretary told NIPSA Report read more

 

CWU

Jubilee Crown Post Office strike (May 20) – Counters staff to walkout Saturday 4th June and Supply Chain and Admin workers will down tools Monday 6th as pay row escalates. A second bout of nationwide strikes was announced by the CWU today as Post Office management continued to refuse the union’s call for a fair pay deal. “Their latest offer is for a 2.5 per cent rise with effect from April 1st 2022, plus a £500 lump sum,” says CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey. “So not only is this way, way below the April 2022 RPI inflation figure of 11.1 per cent, it also offers absolutely no back-pay for whole 2021/22 period – for which Post Office is imposing a pay freeze. “Post Office bosses can hardly be surprised that this proposal has been emphatically rejected, particularly when we all know the Post Office can easily afford a decent pay rise – they announced £35 million in profits earlier this week and a decent pay rise for our members to settle the dispute would only cost around £5m.” The strike action takes place over the Jubilee Holiday Weekend at the beginning of June, with Crown Post Office staff striking on Saturday 4th and their Supply Chain and Admin colleagues hitting the picket lines on Monday 6th read more

Crown PO workers ask: ‘Where’s our Jubilee?’ (18 May) – Inflation up to 11.1%, Post Office profits for 2020/21 at £35m, but pay freeze for Crown Post Office workers and their supply chain and admin colleagues forces them into strike action. A fresh round of walkouts are due to hit Crown Post Offices and support services across the UK, as stubborn bosses continue to refuse them a pay rise despite reporting another year of financial success, CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey told CWU News this morning. Speaking just after today’s announcement from the Office for National Statistics that UK Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation has hit 9 per cent, Andy said: “How on earth can the people running the Post Office justify no pay rise for our members when inflation is running so high. And remember, the 9 per cent is the CPI figure – the Retail Price Index (RPI) is now over 11 per cent. “And today’s news from the ONS comes just a day after the Post Office themselves released their latest annual financial report for 2020/21, which showed a profit of 35 million – a profit created by the hard work and dedication of our members, who continued to serve the Great British public throughout the pandemic while bank branches closed and while Post Offices bosses stayed safely at home.” CWU Post Office reps and branch secretaries met in Birmingham yesterday to discuss how to build on the success of the first national strike earlier this month and to plan the next round of action – which is set to be formally decided and announced soon – and the sheer determination and growing sense of anger at the Post Office’s attitude was apparent from all corners of the country read more

VMO2 agrees to new talks as CWU reiterates red lines on pay (May 20) – The steely resolve of the CWU to ballot for industrial action unless VMO2 improves on a “paltry and insulting” imposed pay settlement that represents significant real-term salary cuts over the next two years has secured the belated offer of new talks by management read more

CWU to Royal Mail – ‘you can afford it, so pay up’ (19 May) – Lively workplace meetings send loud & clear message to company bosses as our DGSP broadcasts to the nation. “Our members are lions and if you prod the lion it will attack,” warned Terry Pullinger in his Facebook Live interview this morning. Speaking just after Royal Mail Group released its annual financial results showing a Group-wide operating profit of £758 million, our deputy general secretary postal insisted that this proved beyond doubt that the business “absolutely can afford a pay rise.” The union has been seeking to negotiate a straightforward, ‘no-strings’ salary increase for hard-working Royal Mail Group (RMG) members in recognition of their fantastic efforts during the pandemic and also to mitigate the effects of the cost-of-living crisis. But so far, the only proposals from the RMG leadership have been considerably below inflation and have also been attached to various productivity and operational change demands read more

Conference votes to ballot for action at BT, Openreach & EE – Conference voted today (29 Apr) to serve legal notice to BT Group of the union’s intention to ballot all appropriate members for industrial action as soon as possible, after rejecting BT Group’s ‘final offer’ of a £1,500 flat rate pay rise. Delegates deemed this an insult to members struggling with a spiralling cost-of-living crisis from a company that had made £5.7 billion in profit in 2021, and the motion expressed how “appalled” members were by the failure to “adequately reward the contribution made by CWU members keeping the country connected during the pandemic” read more

 

NEU

OSR slams Government evidence for forcing multi-academy trusts (18 May) – The Office for Statistics Regulation has today agreed with the NEU’s complaint about the Government’s evidence document. On 31 March, the National Education Union challenged the Department for Education on its questionable evidence base for a drive towards pushing schools into joining multi-academy trusts (MATs). Our analysis documents – The Government’s flawed case for a fully trust-led system, and what is the evidence for forcing schools into multi-academy trusts? – exposed the very poor justification behind these plans read more

Support these strikes:-

Action Date Contact
Drapers Pyrgo Priory School / Havering

(Restructure)

24-25 May [email protected]

 

Holland Park School / Kensington & Chelsea

(Transfer of Employer)

24-25 May [email protected]

 

The John Fisher School / Sutton

(Discriminatory actions of the Governing Body)

25-26 May [email protected]

 

Pocklington School / East Riding

(TPS)

25-26 May [email protected]

 

Walthamstow Primary / Waltham Forest

(Pay, Workload, Bullying)

24-26 May [email protected]

[email protected]

 

Connaught School for Girls / Waltham Forest

(Transfer of Employer, Industrial Relations)

24-26 May [email protected]

[email protected]

 

Leytonstone School / Waltham Forest

(Redundancies)

26 May [email protected]

[email protected]

 

Queen’s College / Somerset

(TPS)

24 May [email protected]

 

 

NASUWT

Restore teachers’ pay in Scotland or face possible industrial action (20 May) – Teachers are warning ministers that they will consider mobilising for industrial action, including potential strike action, if steps are not taken to restore Scottish teachers’ pay levels and address the years of real-terms erosion of their salaries. Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union are demanding a restorative programme of teachers’ pay awards that addresses the real-terms pay cuts suffered by teachers in Scotland since 2010. NASUWT Scotland members will set out their opposition to any further below-inflation pay awards at the Union’s Scotland Annual Conference, which will be held virtually tomorrow (Saturday) read more

NASUWT rejects 2022/23 pay offer for teachers in Scotland (19 May) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, along with other education unions, has formally rejected a pay offer of 2% for 2022/23 for teachers in Scotland following an SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers) meeting yesterday. The NASUWT has deemed the offer unacceptable as it represents a substantial real-terms pay cut at a time when the country is facing the biggest cost of living crisis for 40 years. The offer also completely fails to make any headway in tackling the erosion of teachers’ pay over the last 12 years read more

Pocklington teachers strike to protect pensions – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Pocklington School in East Yorkshire will be taking a further nine days of strike action over threats to sack them unless they sign new contracts which would leave them with worse pensions in retirement. The school’s Board of Governors want to remove them from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and force them to be worse off in their retirement, threatening their financial security read more

IOM members to begin action over pay and working conditions – Isle of Man members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union will begin a programme of action short of strike action from Wednesday (27th April) in a dispute over pay, workload and working practices. From this date members will no longer undertake a range of activities which do not directly relate to teaching and learning. These include attending meetings or responding to emails outside pupil session times, undertaking routine administrative tasks, providing cover for absent colleagues or submitting lesson plans. Teachers will still continue to prepare for their timetabled lessons, teach and mark and assess pupils’ work. Members were balloted for action earlier this month, with 94% in support of action short of strike action, based on a two-thirds turnout read more

 

EIS

“Completely inadequate” pay offer rejected – EIS calls for rapid & vastly improved settlement (19 May) – The EIS yesterday rejected a pay offer of 2% for Scotland’s teachers and called for the Employers’ Side to come back quickly with a significantly improved offer. The offer of 2% for all teachers was tabled by local authority group COSLA and was unanimously rejected by the Teachers’ Side at a meeting of SNCT Extended Joint Chairs read more

EIS Executive Authorises Universal Hardship Payments to FE Lecturers on Strike (16 May) – A special meeting of the EIS Executive Committee has today authorised the payment of universal hardship payments to Further Education college lecturers engaged in ongoing strike action over pay. Members of the EIS Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) have taken six days of unpaid strike action to date in their continuing campaign to secure a fair pay settlement from college management. Following today’s decision by the EIS Executive, all EIS-FELA members engaged in strike action will be eligible to receive a daily hardship payment for each future day of strike action read more

Secondary Teachers in Dundee to take Strike Action over Council’s Faculty Plans – Secondary teachers in Dundee are set to take strike action in protest at the council’s faculty proposals which would remove subject specialist Principal Teachers from the authority’s Secondary schools. The first day of strike action is scheduled to take place on the 22nd of June across all of Dundee’s Secondary schools. Secondary members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) in Dundee have been voting in a statutory industrial action ballot over the past three weeks, and have voted strongly in favour of taking strike action over the council’s proposals. 88% of those voting in the ballot backed the move to strike action, with 12% against. Turnout in the ballot was 62%, and the ballot result comfortably exceeds strict UK government restrictions designed as a barrier to legal industrial action read more

Scotland’s College lecturers begin strike action on pay – College lecturers across Scotland will today (Wednesday 20th April) take strike action seeking a fair pay award that recognises their efforts during the COVID 19 Pandemic. Members of the EIS-Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-FELA) are taking action following protracted negotiations, regarding pay, that began with the submission of their pay claim in June 2021. In a move that evidences a strong sense of feeling amongst college lectures, EIS-FELA members will also commence a resulting boycott on the same day that strike action begins read more

 

UCU

University marking boycott begins Monday despite ‘lock out’ threats (20 May) – UCU urged vice chancellors to revoke pension cuts and meet staff demands for improvements to pay and working conditions as it confirmed that more than 20 universities will proceed to a marking boycott on Monday despite threats of 100% pay deductions from some rogue bosses. The boycott means university staff will stop marking work, returning marks and setting or sitting exams and coursework. The graduations of well over 100,000 students are set to be disrupted. UCU also warned rogue bosses against docking pay and using external contractors to bus in unqualified workers to mark work during the boycott read more

Union vows to fight cull of academics at University of Roehampton (20 May) – UCU said said the University of Roehampton is mounting an “assault on education”. The warning came after the university told staff it intends to cull the number of courses on offer and sack 226 academics – half of its academic staff. It then intends to make those who want to stay compete for far fewer new jobs, many of which will be short term contracts to teach out the courses that are being shut down read more

UCU condemns decision to suspend recruitment to 146 courses at the University of Wolverhampton (20 May) – The University and College Union (UCU) has this week written to the vice chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton to raise concerns about the suspension of recruitment to over 100 courses, which could see a significant number of staff facing redundancy. In a letter to Prof Ian Campbell, the union has demanded urgent clarity over the decision and raised concerns that the plans may be in contravention of employment laws that require trade unions to be properly consulted where jobs may be at risk. The majority of the courses under threat are in performing arts, fashion, social sciences, interior design and fine art and UCU described the plans as part of a worrying move in the sector to weaken the arts and humanities and the social sciences and cut off access to working class students. UCU said that students recruited onto courses subject to the recruitment freeze now faced an uncertain future about the long-term prospect of their course read more

Damning investigation into Covid death finds Burnley College broke ‘health and safety laws’ (20 May) – A damning investigation into Covid safety at Burnley College after the tragic death of teacher Donna Coleman found that ‘health and safety laws…were broken’ by the college. This is the first time an education sector employer has been issued with a formal notice in relation to Covid failings by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) read more

Strike off at Bury College as staff win big last minute pay offer (18 May) – Strike action scheduled to start today at Bury College was called off after staff overwhelmingly voted to accept an eleventh hour pay offer from management that is worth between 6% and 6.2% overall. The offer is triple management’s original offer of only 2%. UCU welcomed the improved offer and called on the five colleges that are seeing strike action today, as well as The Manchester College, which will face strike action on Friday (20 May), to urgently make pay offers to avoid continued disruption during the examination period. The five colleges facing strike action today are: Burnley College, City of Liverpool College, Hopwood Hall, Nelson & Colne College Group and Oldham College. Tomorrow staff at those five colleges will also be taking action short of strike, which includes working to contract, not covering for absent colleagues or vacant posts, and not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action. Staff at The Manchester College will begin action short of a strike on Monday 23 May read more

Colleges across North West England take strike action from tomorrow (17 May) – UCU members across the North West of England will be on strike tomorrow in a dispute over low pay read more

Furness College staff to strike on Wednesday over low pay (17 May) – On Wednesday 18 May lecturers at Furness College will strike after management refused to offer staff more than a paltry 1% increase in pay whilst staff face soaring inflation and a cost of living emergency. Inflation is currently at 9%, meaning the 1% offer is a real term pay cut. Staff will be picketing outside the main entrance of college from 8am Wednesday morning. The strike comes after overwhelming 93% of University and College Union (UCU) members who voted in industrial ballots said yes to strike action. Further days of strike action are planned for 8 and 9 June if management continues to refuse to pay staff more read more

Staff set to strike over plan to ‘Fire & Rehire’ over 100 teachers at Richmond upon Thames College (11 May) – Staff at Richmond upon Thames College are set to down tools for five consecutive days over plans by management to sack every teacher at the college and force them to reapply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions if they want to stay. The action is set to take place from Monday 23 to Friday 27 May. Staff at Richmond upon Thames College are set to down tools for five consecutive days over plans by management to sack every teacher at the college and force them to reapply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions if they want to stay. The action is set to take place from Monday 23 to Friday 27 May. It comes after an overwhelming 97% of University and College Union (UCU) members who voted in the industrial ballots said yes to strike action. The turnout was 88%, smashing the Tory anti trade union legal threshold of 50%. The five days of strike action will be immediately followed by staff working strictly to contract, after 100% of those who voted said yes to action short of strike. The action short of strike could also be escalated to include refusing to cover for colleagues, refusing to use personal IT facilities including Wi-Fi and broadband, refusing to reschedule lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action, and a boycott of assessments. The college wants to sack all 127 members of its teaching staff and make them reapply for their jobs on new contracts that would see them lose 10 days holiday read more

UCU members back marking boycott in pension dispute – UCU confirmed that a boycott of marking and assessments will take place in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension dispute. The decision to also escalate the pension dispute to a marking boycott was made by delegates at a meeting of UCU’s special higher education sector conference (SHESC) on Wednesday 26 April. It follows a decision made by delegates in the pay and working conditions dispute, who also backed a marking boycott and to keep both disputes coupled. UCU’s higher education officers have met to formalise the timetable for the marking and assessment boycott in both the pensions and pay and working conditions disputes which will be communicated with members on Friday 6 May read more

Staff at 24 UK universities back further strike action in ballot over USS pension cuts –

  • Almost eight in ten (79.5%) back strikes
  • Dispute over cuts of 35% to guaranteed retirement incomes of staff
  • UCU calls for new valuation of USS scheme as value of assets soars
  • Union’s members holding meeting later this month to decide next steps in pension dispute

Staff at 24 UK universities have secured a mandate to take further strike action in a dispute over cuts to pensions which could see disruption continue throughout the rest of the academic year. Overall, eight in ten (79.5%) backed strike action with almost nine in ten (88.1%) voting for action short of strike (ASOS). The vote in favour of strike action is higher than it was during the ballots that concluded in November last year, where 76% backed strike action. Today’s results mean that staff at 27 universities have a mandate to take strike action over pensions which will last until October 2022. Staff at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University did not take part in the ballots but will join any possible action as their mandate remains live. Queen Mary University of London has a live mandate until July read more

Staff at 36 UK universities back further strike action in ballot over pay and working conditions –

  • More than seven in ten (74%) back strikes
  • Employers more intransigent than ever, UCU says
  • Union’s members holding meeting later this month to decide next steps

Staff at thirty-six UK universities have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay and working conditions which could see higher education hit by further disruption this academic year. Overall, over seven in ten of those who voted (74%) backed strike action with over eight in ten (85.9%) voting for action short of strike. The vote in favour of strike action is higher than it was during the ballots that concluded in November last year, where 70.1% backed strike action read more

Support the UCU Goldsmiths strikes – University and College Union (UCU) members at Goldmiths University are continuing to take strike action as part of an ongoing dispute over plans to sack 46 members of staff. Goldsmiths wants to make the cuts as part of a ‘recovery plan’ after years of financial mismanagement have left the university with a £12.7m deficit. The union says the ‘recovery plan’ is a deal struck with Lloyds and Natwest banks to use redundancies to improve the university’s finances. Following a failure by the university last week to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies staff have been left with no option but to take industrial action in defence of jobs. The university has already been hit with a global boycott which means UCU is asking its members, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community to support its members at Goldsmiths in any way possible.  Follow @GoldsmithsUCU on twitter and on Facebook

UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes.

 

FBU

Red plaques unveiled for Reading firefighters who died in same incident (May 20) – Red plaques have been unveiled today for two Reading firefighters who were killed in the same incident. David Barnes, 44, and Neil Goldsmith, 31, were responding to a fire in a large builders’ merchants store on 15 September 1977, when it partially collapsed, trapping them both. Sadly, they had both died by the time they were found, with a significant fire and continuing collapse of the building hampering rescue efforts – which included the involvement of the Chief Fire Officer himself. They both left wives and two children read more

Attack on workers’ rights – fire and rescue white paper published (May 18) – The Westminster government’s fire and rescue white paper has been published, following months of delay. It outlines a number of proposals for changes to the fire and rescue service in England. Central to the white paper is a review on pay and a move to operational independence of Chief Fire Officers. Also present are plans to replace fire governance with a system of single executive leaders, with PFCCs, mayors and council leaders all mooted as possibilities. The proposals are subject to consultation before any legislative changes in Parliament later this year read more

Red Plaque unveiled for Manchester firefighter who died in the line of duty (May 14) – The Fire Brigades Union has unveiled a Red Plaque for a Manchester firefighter who died in the line of duty, close to the anniversary of his passing. John Ogden, a father of two, sustained injuries falling from a fire engine, which was on its way to attend a car fire on 12 May 1996. He later died from his injuries, three days later. An inquest into the incident found the locking mechanism on the then-new fire engine appeared to have shut but had not read more

FBU calls for Grenfell building safety body to be nationalised (May 13) – The Fire Brigades Union has committed to fighting for the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to be renationalised. The commitment came in the form of a motion passed at the union’s annual conference, the first in-person conference since the pandemic. In the union’s view BRE’s private ownership has led to failures of competency, and BRE going too far to please the corporate clients whose products it tested and whom it relied on for income read more

Fire Brigades Union calls for control staff to be recognised as operational workers after Jubilee medal snub (May 13) – The Fire Brigades Union has committed to fighting for fire control staff to be recognised as a part of operational response, after they were denied a government Platinum Jubilee medal, intended for all operational emergency service workers. The commitment came in the form of a motion passed at the union’s annual conference last week, on Friday read more

Cumbria PCC loses own consultation on becoming PFCC (May 13) – Cumbria PCC Peter McCall has lost his own consultation on becoming a PFCC (Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner), which he had backed. Out of the 363 public and stakeholder responses only 46% of respondents wanted to see a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner in Cumbria, whereas 54% preferred the option of a Combined Fire and Rescue Authority. Most of the responses were from employees of Cumbria Fire and Rescue, Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Constabulary read more

 

BFAWU

Strong Popular Sheffield Cafe first to recognise Trade Union (17 May) – The workers and owners of a popular local café/restaurant have forged a union recognition agreement thought to be a first of its kind in the city. South Street Kitchen in Park Hill has agreed to undertake collective bargaining with their workers’ union of choice, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). The agreement means that the owners of the cafe have signed a written agreement to negotiate with worker representatives on issues such as pay, workplace safety, and time off. Union recognition is commonplace in some industries such as public services and manufacturing, but very rare in the hospitality industry, where union membership is very low amongst its predominantly young workforce. The recognition agreement is designed to give workers a more formal and permanent voice in their workplace read more

 

NUJ

SLAPPs: a threat to journalists and media freedom worldwide (18 May) – Hear from our panel including investigative journalists who have faced SLAPPs action. Submit a response to government’s consultation closing 19 May. Strategic lawsuits against public partcipation (SLAPPs) have gained recent media attention as a result of high profile cases against journalists including Catherine Belton and Tom Burgis. The NUJ’s webinar on 10 May brought an expert panel together to discuss the impact of litigation on journalists, and what action can be taken to stop SLAPPs read more

BBC North West journalists vote for work to rule – NUJ members are making a stand about the damaging impact of job cuts on news outpt in the region. As well as working with a significantly reduced workforce, staff at BBC North West are now expected to take on more and more technical duties previously carried out by skilled technical staff. If allowed to continue, the quality of the regional news programmes will suffer and deteriorate, they say. More than 97 per cent of NUJ members in the chapel voted in favour of industrial action. It follows the BBC’s decision to cut £25m from BBC England’s budget, leading to 450 job cuts cross England. The vast majority of journalists who work for BBC North West are NUJ members read more

 

Prospect

Leaked plans for 40% cuts would hit public hard and do nothing to help cost-of-living crisis (20 May) – Prospect has responded to reports by Sky News that government departments have been asked to model cuts of up to 40 per cent in head count read more

 

Equity

First ever code of best practice for self-tape auditions for commercials launched (19 May) – We’ve launched a new Code of Best Practice for Self-Tape & Zoom Auditions for Commercials, agreed together with the main industry bodies representing agents and casting directors. This is the first ever code of best practice that has been produced for commercials in the UK and follows the launch of a Code of Best Practice for Self-Tape & Zoom Auditions for Scripted Drama in August last year read more

Lay-offs at Leeds’ Phoenix Dance Theatre “beyond comprehension” (18 May) – Following recent consultation meetings, management at Phoenix have confirmed that they will be undergoing a ‘creative pause’ from June 2022 to January 2023 instead of proceeding with previously planned work. This means that following a performance to be staged in Newcastle this Friday 20 May – the final show in celebration of Phoenix’s 40th anniversary – dancers will not go into rehearsal for at least three planned pieces of work in the autumn, which is what they had been told earlier this year read more

 

USDAW

#ReinstateMax: defend sacked Tesco USDAW rep Max McGee – 3 months on from exhausting all appeals, Max McGee is preparing to take Tesco to an Employment Tribunal over his trade union victimisation and sacking. A GoFundMe page has been set up to donate to Max’s reinstatement campaign and trade union comrades are encouraged to raise the campaign at their Trade Union branches and Trades Councils over the coming weeks. Link to the page below:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist

Messages of solidarity and photos can be sent to [email protected]

 

UVW

Brighton bar staff vote on strike action and sue their employer (18 May) – “For me and my friends and fellow workers at St James’ Tavern, for the bare minimum conditions and respect at work. That’s why I’m striking.” Tris Houseman, bartender at St James Tavern and UVW member

A small team of pub workers in Brighton are taking on their bosses, voting to go on strike over pay and conditions and suing them for alleged harassment and discrimination. They are saying enough is enough! The determined group of workers and United Voices of the World (UVW) members claim they have been subjected to mistreatment for a long time, alongside poor working conditions. The situation was so dire that many felt compelled to quit their jobs and some of those remaining have second jobs due to their low wages. Bar staff at the emblematic St James’ Tavern (SJT) in central Brighton are being balloted in May for strike action over pay and working conditions. Some of the workers are also suing SJT for alleged harassment and discrimination, including allegations of transphobia, sexism and anti-Semitism read more

Union demands sexual harassment claim is properly investigated at luxury flats (17 May) – United Voices of the World (UVW) demands that property management company FirstPort properly investigates the alleged sexual harassment and assault of one of its migrant woman members and the accused manager is suspended from work until this investigation has taken place read more

Victory for Colombian migrant worker who dared to stand up, speak out and fight back! (17 May) – “I will always raise my voice to defend the rights of workers who are in miserable conditions and in court it was clear that it is not a malicious act to join a union and be an activist, so no more fear!” Bella Ruiz, former care worker, strike leader and UVW member. After two years of battle and four long days in court, United Voices of the World (UVW) member and strike leader Bella Ruiz won her union victimisation claim against Sage Nursing Home, in north London, in mid-May. The Watford Employment Tribunal agreed with Bella that she had been victimised for challenging her bosses on poverty pay, lack of protective gear (PPE) and appalling working conditions at the height of the pandemic, and that she had been subjected to a union-busting witch-hunt for mobilising her colleagues read more

Security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) have been taking strike action as part of their fight against racist outsourcing. The trustees need to do the right thing and give these workers the rights they deserve! Support the six-week GOSH security guards strike read more on UVW Facebook page

 

IWGB

Deliveroo Riders to Question CEO at Company’s First AGM Days after GMB Partnership Stunt (21 May) – Today, 10 Deliveroo couriers and union representatives from the IWGB will be in attendance at Deliveroo’s first AGM to question CEO Will Shu and other board members on the company’s exploitative employment practices. Questions will focus on sub minimum wage pay, worker rights, and last week’s backroom GMB partnership agreement read more

Statement on the recent police raids targeted at couriers in Dalston (16 May) – The IWGB condemns the actions and behaviour of the Met Police during the Ashwin Street raid on Saturday evening. After targeting couriers for immigration checks under the pretence of checking insurance documents, video footage shows police officers indiscriminately attacking members of the public with batons and repeatedly punching one person in the head whilst they are on the ground. It is our legal right to protest and to show solidarity with the most marginalised members of society when they are targeted, and the violent response from the police officers in question was a shocking and disproportionate way of dealing with the situation. We hope that the police officers responsible for the violence on Saturday evening are held to account for their actions and are disciplined appropriately. This is not the first time we have seen police specifically targeting BAME couriers in this area, and checking their immigration status under the guise of checking insurance or responding to claims of anti-social behaviour and vehicle theft. Ashwin Street is one of the top three most-policed areas in the ward. Harassment from police is an issue of workplace safety and dignity, and just like everybody else, food delivery workers have a right to feel safe whilst doing their jobs read more

In-house without fair pay is discrimination: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine pay your workers a dignified salary! – We are cleaners, porters, post-room and security staff at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). We are a majority Black, Asian, Latin American and migrant workforce. Many of us have worked for years at LSHTM and we work hard to keep this university running. We are fighting for an end to discrimination and for fair and dignified pay read more & support campaign

Write to London Bridge Hospital: End poverty pay & poor treatment of cleaners! Use this quick tool to back the workers by writing to the London Bridge Hospital bosses at HCA Healthcare and Compass Group read more

Write to Stuart Delivery, JustEat: END THE STRIKE, PAY RISE NOW!

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

Support GARY CARNEY, TRAIN OPERATOR – LONDON UNDERGROUND

Defend Adrian Mitchell RMT driver on London Underground

Support Tim Breed RMT

Donate to solidarity campaign of Moe Muhsin Manir Unite bus rep   Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]

Trade union rep victimisation at Woolwich Ferry reaches ‘obscene levels’, says Unite

Unite: Ealing’s Labour council ‘actively helping’ Serco ‘hound’ union rep from civil enforcement job

St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite repsign petition: End the culture of fear at St Mungo’smodel motion

St Mungo’s: Unite will not tolerate victimisation and bullying

Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council

Watch Reel News video: Victimised union reps: Act like it’s you and fight back

Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]

Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon

Watch Reel News video: Huddersfield teachers strike to defend Louise Lewis

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep Max McGee fighting for reinstatement read more. There is now a GoFundMe to support the campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist) and Max can be invited to speak at Usdaw and other union branches plus trades councils ([email protected])

QC appointed to lead the independent Unite inquiry into blacklisting (25 Mar) – Unite is delighted to announce that Nick Randall QC and John Carl Townsend have been appointed to investigate the possible collusion by union officers in blacklisting. Over the past months, evidence gathering by Thompsons solicitors has continued, with many blacklisted construction workers and other witnesses having already been interviewed. The work of the independent investigators is expected to start officially on 11 April read more

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group

Builders Crack: The Movie

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.

Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg

Blacklist Support Group

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

 

International news

UNISON condemns killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh (17 May) – International committee welcomes IFJ’s complaint to the International Criminal Court regarding Israel’s targeting of journalists working in Palestine read more on Unison website

Turkey: Statement of Solidarity with Imprisoned Gezi 8 – Signatories of a petition released today in Turkey sent a message of solidarity with the Gezi 8. “Whatever they said or did during the Gezi movement, we did the same, we said the same words. If they are convicted, we must be convicted too. If they are considered guilty, we are guilty too. We are reporting ourselves to the prosecutor’s office by declaring that we are in agreement with their ideas and actions” said the 888 signatories of the petition read more on website of Solidarity with People of Turkey

 

The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic

The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.

You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.

You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]

We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN

But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in the Queens Speech in December 2019 and cannot be trusted and is now attacking the right to protest through its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government have announced measures that include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to finish but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown. But it’s clear that the Tories are looking to end it asap.

However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.

We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.

Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK

 

 

Diary

June

18 TUC National Demonstration – 12noon Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3BD read more

 

July

2 NSSN Conference 2022 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Facebook event

9 Durham Miners’ Gala 2022 Facebook event

15-17 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival 2022 read more

 

September

11 NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Brighton

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP   or STOP The CUTS  Likes page

ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE